Categorized | News

Obama urges Congress to pass Carcieri fix ‘right away’


President Barack Obama hosted his fourth annual Tribal Nations Conference at the United States Department of the Interior last week, where the negative effects of the Supreme Court’s Carcieri decision and need for a legislative remedy remained an overarching theme.

In closing remarks at the conference, President Obama said, “With some tribal nations unable to put their land into federal trust, we’re pushing Congress to pass the Carcieri fix right away.”

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar reaffirmed the President’s commitment.

“With four more years we can do a lot for Indian Country. We know Carcieri is an issue that needs to be fixed,” he said.

Senate Committee on Indian Affairs Chairman Daniel K. Akaka (D-Hawaii) said, “I am pleased that the president highlighted Carcieri as a legislative priority to be passed right away. My colleagues on the Indian Affairs Committee and I remain committed to moving forward and taking this issue to the floor of the Senate for an up or down vote this year before Congress adjourns.”

Other themes at the conference included advancing self-determination policy, the need for greater public safety, improving infrastructure and the accessibility of capital, and spurring economic development and job creation.

Akaka said, “President Obama has worked to promote the principles of self-determination, but self-determination is limited as many tribes struggle to secure a land-base. Fixing the Carcieri decision will clear up the status of lands.

“Landmark laws are being obstructed by Carcieri complications. The effectiveness of the Indian Health Care Act is severely limited as lands for much needed health and wellness facilities are being denied. The Tribal Law and Order Act faces challenges as Carcieri continues to create jurisdictional loopholes and law enforcement confusion in Indian Country. Economic development projects are being delayed or abandoned.

“Our failure to fix Carcieri has led to tens of thousands of missed job opportunities while too many American families are struggling in these difficult economic times.

“While fixing Carcieri has a zero dollar price tag, not fixing Carcieri is costing us millions through unemployment benefits and frivolous litigation, and the diversion of federal personnel and resources continue to drain federal agency budgets. We must fix Carcieri now.”

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Become a fan on facebook


%d bloggers like this: